|Luke Gillespie injected energy and 3 goals into the Maple Ridge lineup when he was inserted for Game 2. Here he scores a shorthanded goal in the first period. (Photo: Tim Prothero)|
The Maple Ridge Burrards regrouped after a tough loss in the opening game of the 2016 Mann Cup and scored an impressive 13-9 victory over the Six Nations Chiefs in Game 2, giving the franchise its first win at the national championship since 1977. The best-of-seven series is now tied 1-1.
After looking somewhat overpowered in the series opener, a much improved Burrards' squad took the floor on Saturday night and showed the boisterous crowd that a Six Nations sweep was not in the cards. The visitors made some adjustments on both sides of the ball, showing much more patience in the offensive zone, while also tightened up their coverage on defense and battling much harder for loose balls.
"I think we just outworked them tonight," said Maple Ridge captain Aaron Davis. "In the first game, for whatever reason, they were the harder working team. They beat us to loose balls and got a lot of second chances, but tonight we really changed the momentum in those areas."
While the Western Lacrosse Association champion's may be considered underdogs by many in the lacrosse world, their opponents were not surprised with their bounce back effort.
"Game 1 wasn't their best and we knew that," acknowledged Six Nations' forward Dan Dawson in the second intermission. "We knew they were going to push back, but I don't think we were ready for it."
The NLL's Saskatchewan Rush were well represented on the Burrards side of the score sheet, with current players Ben McIntosh (3 G, 4A), Dan Taylor (1 G, 4 A) and Riley Loewen (3 G, 0 A) making large contributions. Luke Gillespie, a 2015 draft pick who did not dress in the series opener, showed his coaches that he does indeed belong in the lineup, netting three goals and one assist, including two while short-handed.
|Frankie Scigliano had a much stronger Game 2 for Maple Ridge, including|
pouncing on this shot from Ryan Benesch to keep it from trickling in.
(Photo: Tim Prothero)
A quick goal by Six Nations opened the scoring, but the hometown fans had to wait a long time before having another one to cheer for as Maple Ridge rattled off five straight markers, including two short-handed goals by Gillespie to end the first and start the second, before the Chiefs would score again 17:01 into the middle frame.
The Burrards kept the pressure on for the remainder of the second period, matching each Chiefs goal with two of their own, helping them build a 9-4 lead heading into the final 20 minutes.
A goal by Riley Loewen in the opening minute of the third period chased Chiefs' goaltender Dillon Ward from the net. He was replaced by Doug Jamieson, a projected first-round pick in the upcoming NLL entry draft and member of the Iroquois Nationals field lacrosse team that participated in the 2016 FIL U19 Men's World Championship.
While he looked a little shaky between the pipes, letting a few weak shots squeak by and missing the mark on a couple of passes to his defenders, the move seemed to spark his team's offense as they took charge and made things interesting with a four goal run, cutting the lead to 12-9.
But that's as close as they would get, as things stalled thanks to two untimely penalties late in the period which allowed Maple Ridge to run out the clock, scoring one last time on a 5-on-3 power play to put the game out reach.
The Chiefs were led once again by Dan Dawson, who propelled himself up the all-time Mann Cup scoring list with a seven point performance (2 G, 5 A), passing Gary Gait and Scott Evans. He currently sits alone in fifth place with 123 points, within striking distance of fellow Team Canada alumni Colin Doyle who has 137 points.
The two teams will renew their battle in Game 3 on Monday night at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena.
Visit http://manncup.pointstreaksites.com/view/manncup for more information on the event or watch the webcast free of charge via JVI Sports Network.
All games will be played at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena (3201 Line 2, Ohsweken, ON).
- Game 1: September 9 (Six Nations 15, Maple Ridge 8)
- Game 2: September 10 (Six Nations 9, Maple Ridge 13)
- Game 3: Monday, September 12 at 8:00PM EST
- Game 4: Tuesday, September 13 at 8:00PM EST
- Game 5: Wednesday, September 14 at 8:00PM EST (*if necessary)
- Game 6: Friday September, 16 at 8:00PM EST (*if necessary)